FP3: Raikkonen hits the front at Spa


Kimi Raikkonen claimed the top spot on the final practice timesheet for the Belgian GP as a late supersoft run, and a mistake, left Lewis Hamilton down in fifth place.

Another beautiful day at Spa began with a P1 for Nico Rosberg, the first driver to set a competitive time of a 1:48.880.

The Mercedes driver held the position by 0.574s ahead of Nico Hulkenberg while Sergio Perez a further 0.012s down on his Force India team-mate.

Swapping to the supersoft rubber, Ferrari hit the front.

Raikkonen posted a 1:48.406 to lead his team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.096. Vettel, though, wasn’t entirely happy with what was going on out on track.

A moment with Kevin Magnussen had him telling Ferrari: “What an idiot. Did you see that? It’s Free Practice. It’s called Free Practice, who gives a shit?”

But as Ferrari’s rivals changed over to the red-marked Pirellis, the Scuderia drivers began to fall.

Daniel Ricciardo was the next to lead the way but a second supersoft run from Ferrari saw Raikkonen return to P1. A 1:47.974 for the Finn.

Ricciardo finished second, 0.215s down, while Vettel was third, a further tenth off the pace.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth ahead of Hamilton. The Mercedes driver focused on race-pace up until the final minutes of FP3 when he swapped to the supersoft tyres.

However, a mistake in the final corner meant he finished down in fifth place.

Hulkenberg was sixth fastest ahead of Rosberg, whose supersoft lap was 0.768s slower than Raikkonen’s best.

Friday’s pace-setter Max Verstappen has a nightmare session as he did not set a time, covering just two laps. An “issue with the sensor in the gearbox” was team boss Christian Horner’s explanation.

1  Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1’47.974 11 laps
2  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull 1’48.189 0.215 18 laps
3  Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1’48.297 0.323 12 laps
4  Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1’48.504 0.530 17 laps
5  Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1’48.635 0.661 20 laps
6  Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1’48.739 0.765 12 laps
7  Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1’48.742 0.768 19 laps
8  Felipe Massa  Williams 1’48.783 0.809 21 laps
9  Sergio Perez  Force India 1’48.915 0.941 12 laps
10  Romain Grosjean  Haas 1’49.272 1.298 16 laps
11  Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1’49.453 1.479 9 laps
12  Esteban Gutierrez  Haas 1’49.631 1.657 16 laps
13  Jenson Button  McLaren 1’49.665 1.691 10 laps
14  Kevin Magnussen  Renault 1’49.716 1.742 11 laps
15  Pascal Wehrlein  Manor 1’49.761 1.787 15 laps
16  Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso 1’50.023 2.049 9 laps
17  Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 1’50.078 2.104 9 laps
18  Jolyon Palmer  Renault 1’50.241 2.267 11 laps
19  Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1’50.420 2.446 13 laps
20  Esteban Ocon  Manor 1’50.693 2.719 18 laps
21  Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1’51.319 3.345 5 laps
22  Max Verstappen  Red Bull 2 laps